Artur Davis ’93, the 41-year-old Alabama Democratic congressman, is set to take aim at his state’s governorship in 2010. If successful, Davis, who worked for the Southern Poverty Law Center and as an assistant U.S. attorney before entering politics, would be Alabama’s first black governor (and only the fifth black governor in the U.S.), breaking a racial barrier that once seemed every bit as insurmountable as President Barack Obama ’91’s.
As the Associated Press noted in response to the congressman’s announcement, old attitudes die hard in the southern state: in a 2000 referendum, forty percent of voters opposed ending a provision in the state’s constitution that banned interracial marriage. And in November, less than 20 percent of the state’s white vote – which composes three quarters of Alabama’s electorate – went to Obama.
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